Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence
This paper takes issue with two basic conclusions prevalent in the literature on central bank behavior. First, the paper argues that it is inappropriate to presume that central banks will, in the absence of any precommitment technology, necessarily behave in a 'discretionary' fashion that implies an inflationary bias. Since there is no functional connection between average rates of money creation (or inflation) and policy responsiveness to cyclical disturbances, it is entirely feasible for the bias to be avoided. In other words, there is no necessary tradeoff between 'flexibility and commitment.' Second, to the extent that the absence of any absolute precommitment technology is nevertheless a problem, it will apply to a consolidated central bank plus government entity as well as to the central bank alone. Thus contracts between governments and central banks do not overcome the motivation for dynamic inconsistency, they merely relocate it.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 207- 211 (May 1995).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994.
"How independent should a central bank be?,"
Conference Series ; [Proceedings],
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
- Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985.
"Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
- Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1989. "Monetary Policy Strategies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 612-632, September.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
- Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1988. "Monetary Policy Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Rules and Discretion with Noncoordinated Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 619-30, October.
- McCallum, Bennett T., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice: two critical points : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 215-220, December.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981.
"A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model,"
NBER Working Papers
0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
- Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5075. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.